BG Note | News - What We're Reading (April 4, 2018)
Garza, Renteria, Casar unveil Housing Justice Agenda (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Three City Council members say they are united to push for a series of aggressive affordable housing measures, including a major increase in housing subsidies and reforms of the land development code.
At a panel at the Austin Convention Center Tuesday afternoon, Council members Delia Garza, Pio Renteria and Greg Casar described seven parts of a “Housing Justice Agenda” to increase the availability of housing that is affordable to low-income, working-class and middle-class people across the city...
Music Commission’s ‘hub’ concept prompts request for $15M bond increase (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
In spite of the praise he has received from city leaders for his response to the Austin bombings, Interim Police Chief Brian Manley is not necessarily a shoo-in to be the next permanent police chief.
City Manager Spencer Cronk is still in the process of deciding what to do about the vacant position, which Manley has filled in an interim capacity since former Police Chief Art Acevedo left in November of 2016.
“He’s going to be announcing shortly how he proceeds in that regard,” explained Assistant City Manager Rey Arellano at a meeting of the Public Safety Commission on Monday...
DePalma announces run for District 8 (Austin Monitor) LINK TO STORY
Rich DePalma, a consultant who has worked on numerous environmental efforts, officially threw his hat in the ring Tuesday to represent Austinites who live in District 8. Council Member Ellen Troxclair currently holds the seat and has said she is running for re-election in November.
In addition to DePalma and Troxclair, the candidates who have already announced a run to represent Southwest Austin include Shane Sexton, a Concordia University police officer; Save Our Springs Alliance attorney Bobby Levinski; and Paige Ellis, a marketing specialist at aci consulting, an environmental compliance firm.
As things stand right now, it looks like the candidates challenging Troxclair will be trying to win voters, at least in part, based on their commitment to protecting the environment...
Texans in Congress react to Trump’s plan to send military to the border (Austin American-Statesman) LINK TO STORY
Texas members of Congress reacted swiftly to President Donald Trump’s announcement Tuesday that he planned to order the military to the U.S.-Mexico border until he can build a wall. Trump was apparently reacting to reports that a caravan of asylum-seekers was making its way to the U.S. border from Honduras. Here’s what members of Congress from Texas had to say: “The National Guard has been on the border during influxes of illegal border crossings in the past and they’ve been a great asset to our Border Patrol agents in helping secure the southern border.” — U.S. Rep. John Carter, R-Round Rock.
“Ignoring the law, the cost to taxpayers, and umpteen campaign promises, Trump’s effort to militarize our border is just another of his bad border ideas. Neither a parade in Washington glorifying him nor parading on the border are tasks to which our military should be diverted.” — U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin...
Beto O’Rourke raises record $6.7M in race against Sen. Ted Cruz (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY
El Paso Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the underdog Democrat hoping to defeat Sen. Ted Cruz in November, raised a record-setting $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2018, according to his campaign. Outside of self-funding, that’s more than any Texan has raised in a single reporting period for a U.S. Senate contest in at least three decades, if not in history, according to data provided by the Federal Election Commission. Former Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, who lost to Cruz in a 2012 Republican primary runoff, reported $9.3 million in the third quarter of 2012, but that included more than $8 million of his own money...
Trump's trade war hits home: China's retaliatory tariffs target Texas pecans, grapefruit (Dallas Morning News) LINK TO STORY
President Donald Trump's escalating trade skirmish with China isn't taking a big bite out of Texas' agriculture industry — for now. China this week implemented some $3 billion in tariffs on goods ranging from tree nuts to pork to cherries, with the country's trade officials making clear that the ag-heavy action was retaliation for Trump's decision last month to impose stiff import levies on steel and aluminum. The 128-item tariff list did hit some Texas stalwarts, such as pecans, that rely on trade to China. But it avoided the state's big-ticket products like beef, sorghum and corn. Other Texas classics, such as red grapefruit, also made the list. But they aren't exported to China in great numbers...
Fight over Houston floodplain rules taps into city’s resistance to regulation (Houston Chronicle) LINK TO STORY
Hurricane Harvey was supposed to be a game-changer. Those who downplayed other recent deadly floods couldn’t say much last August after every single one of the county’s 22 bayous overflowed their banks and inundated hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. Still, that trauma has not ensured Mayor Sylvester Turner an easy path to restricting development in the flood plains that run alongside those bayous.
What seemed like a stunned consensus that change was needed, seven months later looks like every other City Hall fight over new regulations. Turner described his proposal in broad terms at a late January council meeting but did not provide draft language or supporting data. He drew immediate opposition from council members when he said he expected to vote on the item within a month...
Trump Calls For Military Forces On U.S.-Mexico Border (KUT) LINK TO STORY
President Trump says he wants to use military troops to help secure the U.S. border with Mexico. He made the suggestion Tuesday during a White House summit meeting with Baltic leaders.
Trump also renewed his call for a quick withdrawal of U.S. forces in Syria. And he expressed support for embattled EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.
Since the weekend, Trump has been tweeting about a caravan of Central Americans, most of them from Honduras, who are making their way north through Mexico...
Federal Judge Orders Texas To Comply With Voter Registration Laws (KUT) LINK TO STORY
The Texas Civil Rights Project sued the state two years ago, claiming the Department of Public Safety treats people who update their driver’s license information online differently than people who update it in person.
Texas will register you to vote or change your voter information if you go to a DPS office in person, the group's president, Mimi Marziani, said at the time, but it claims "something about going online is different.”
While online voter registration is illegal in Texas, federal laws – including the 14th Amendment – require that all voters be treated the same...
Suspect Dead, Multiple Wounded, In Shooting At YouTube HQ In San Bruno, Calif. (KUT) LINK TO STORY
A woman shot and wounded several people at the headquarters of YouTube in San Bruno, Calif., before shooting and killing herself, according to police Chief Ed Barberini.
He offered no motive for the shooting, which he said was carried out with a handgun. The Associated Press reports that the incident is being investigated as a domestic dispute...
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Anti-Apartheid Activist, Dies At 81 (KUT) LINK TO STORY
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, wife of the late South African leader Nelson Mandela, and a leading anti-apartheid figure in her own right during the country's most turbulent years, has died at age 81.
The Mandela family said in a statement that she died Monday in Johannesburg "after a long illness, for which she had been in and out of hospital since the start of the year."
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa called her "an abiding symbol of the desire of our people to be free. In the midst of repression, she was a voice of defiance and resistance."...